An HS Daily Wire conversation with Robert Horton of Motorola

Published 22 July 2008

Motorola’s Biometrics Business Unit has more than 300 customers in 40 countries; Robert Horton, director of Portfolio Management & Strategy, Biometrics Business Unit, Motorola, expects an increased number of deployments incorporating Motorola’s multi-modal and Mobile ID functionality with seamless mobility

MotoMotorola is a U.S.-based Fortune 100 company with decades of experience in delivering complex systems, including biometric and technological solutions, to public safety agencies at the federal, state, regional, local, and international levels. Motorola’s Biometrics Business Unit leverages the company’s sixty-six years of supplying public safety systems and more than thirty-four years of experience in defining, developing, marketing, implementing, and supporting mission-critical biometric solutions across thirty-two states and forty countries.

Motorola acquired Printrak International, a company with a 34-year history in biometrics, in the year 2000. Printrak had been first to produce an automated fingerprint card scanner, which was picked up by the FBI in 1974. Then, in 1977, Printrak launched AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) with sales to various state and local agencies. “They’ve all been Motorola customers ever since,” said Robert Horton. “Now we have more than 300 customers, in 40 countries worldwide, for our multi-modal biometrics product line centered on the AFIS. This is our core competency and our expertise.”

Horton, who is the director of strategic product marketing in the Biometrics Business Unit of Motorola (Schaumberg, Illinois), noted the company’s participation in other biometric modalities such as face and iris. Motorola integrates third-party algorithms for facial or iris recognition and integrates into the Motorola Printrak Biometric Identification Solution (BIS). “AFIS is a generic term in the security industry, Horton said. “AFIS systems started off as fingerprint-only and, as they went multi-modal to incorporate other biometrics — facial recognition, iris recognition — they became biometric identification systems. Motorola’s BIS product manages fingerprints, palmprints, mugshots, iris images, and signatures, and has a repository for associated documents such as applications and identity authentication documents.”

Motorola’s biometrics customer base consists of 100 percent government agencies, and Motorola’s Biometrics Business Unit lodges in the company’s Government & Public Safety sector. Broadly, the biometric customers can be divided into two groups. In the first category, which covers probably 80 percent of the customer base, are public-safety police agencies. “In Europe there are 18 national systems in which the national police of the country are using the Motorola Printrak BIS,” Horton told HS Daily Wire. “We also supply the front-end workstations associated with our AFIS.”

Motorola’s market coverage is extensive, with customers in more than 40 countries. In the United States, 19 of the 50 states utilize a Motorola system for the searchable database of fingerprints accessible to the state police or